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Letter to the editor: Go ahead, enforce the laws on sidewalks

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 12:01 am

By all means, enforce the law regarding the cleaning of sidewalks in front of your home. Too bad if you are elderly or handicapped. Also too bad if you live on a corner and you have two sidewalks to clear. The law provides for a fine of over $2,000 per day. I figured that this year alone, my fine is well over $300,000. I’ve been here for 17 years, so I would owe over $5 million on my $30,000 home.

So I would end up with a tax lien and certainly unable to sell my home or even give it away. So when I leave, the house will sit empty until it falls down. The city will have to mow the grass and will then place additional liens on the house. The neighborhood will have thousands of abandoned homes. Now the city will be responsible for clearing the sidewalks and mowing the grass. They also will not collect property taxes from the owners of those thousands of homes.

Maybe there is some underlying malicious motive. Let’s let the weak, elderly and sick have early heart attacks and that will help with the insurance and Social Security problems. Make them go out and shovel that sidewalk in the freezing temperatures. That will teach them to complain about high expenses, medical costs and prescriptions. They should be able to pay someone to clear their sidewalks. After all, they should not have to make a choice between clearing the sidewalk, heat, food or medicine.

The irony of it is that very few people use the sidewalk. In my neighborhood, everyone walks in the street. Even the postal carrier walks on the lawns.

So go ahead, fine everyone who doesn’t clear their sidewalk. But you are not allowed to discriminate. If you fine one, you must fine everyone in the city. After all, you will need to hire multitudes of new employees to collect all those fines, mow the lawns and most of all keep those sidewalks clear. Good luck!

Mary Kay Matasky